Tuesday, December 27, 2011

AoD- Raising The Bar (EQ2)

I managed to get EQ2's new expansion with the triple SC sale, which was an extremely good deal, I'm very happy that I purchased it as I am seriously enjoying the heck out of it. I thought I'd I would share some of my experiences and thoughts. AoD isn't full of a ton of content but aimed at more features as content is going to be more along the lines of patches since EQ2 going F2P. Thus far it has been my favorite expansion since I started in 2007, yeah a late bloomer with EQ2... Blame it on my old computer and video card.

First up I'll speak about mercenaries. Are they worth it? Yes indeed, they are very much worth it. At the starting levels all the way into the low twenties they are around two silver per half hour, pretty much free. By 22 it is around ten silver and at 90 it is 25g. I prefer the charge being every 30 min instead of, like EQ, it being every 15 min. Some classes are a bit tougher to solo with and mercs can provide a nice boost to soloing. I've not used the DPS merc on the lower levels, only the tanks and healers with my beastlord, while leveling. The inquisitor is very nice for heals and does decent dps. The tank mercs are amazing for a dps boost. I simply adore the paladin from Qeynos, if I know I am not going to need a lot of heals he goes out and about with me as he is a beast. I might need heals if he didn't mow down everything in our way.

"I'll defend you till' death.... Or until you run out of coin." At least he's honest.

I decided to try the dps and paladin merc with my 90 inquisitor. All in all I'd probably stick with the tank, his dps isn't anything to frown at in the least bit. The dps mercs are good but the tank has a much better knack for pulling things off me while I am trying to heal. However, they are AI and you do have to watch aggro, he can only do so much as far as pulling things off me in a short amount of time. That being said they are a bit squishy if you are trying to heal yourself and them and them. I am pretty impressed with them as a whole though. I've read that some people find the mthe melee dps to be less squishy than the tanks but I did not find that to be the case with the Swashy anyhow, perhaps the Brigand is. I'm pretty fond of the Paladin honestly, his dps, when used with my inquis seemed just as decent as a rogue whom didn't get to utilize his abilities since he was tanking.

Mercs are one of the best things about this expansion. They make things a bit easier especially if you like to solo a lot, they can really impact your play for the better. Plus, they are pretty cheap. I do wish that you could at least have two in your mercenary tab, you can only one at a time or purchase another and switch them up and town that way. I'd love to be able to switch them out on the fly, depending on what would be needed- maybe soon because that was one of the features in the latest (original) EverQuest expansion. I suppose it is just a matter of time. This weekend I actually saw an email for the latest EQ expansion and saw it mentioned a feature being that you can now carry multiple mercs along with you. I was confused because, for a moment, I thought it was EQ2 and got really excited. Poor me, I needs to lern to reed :(

Reforaging. Seems like a nice deal, I was a bit let down that you can only reforage legendary (or better) items. Pretty useless on my lowbie beastlord. Plus, most of my appearance weapons are not legendary which means no pretty sparkles on them.... And if they are, well they already have some cool effect. It is a nice addition though, I just wish it was a bit more newbie friendly.

Personal dungeon maker. I still haven't had time for this but it really is a neat option. As an avid decorator this really seems like a lot of fun and I look forward to using it. While I was soloing some old dungeons with my merc I managed to get a few spawners to drop. You can add these as mobs into your personal dungeon. Currently you can only play as an avatar, not your own character, but on test you can play as your character- So soon this will offer more for players that have been asking for this feature. I think the whole player created content thing is a fantastic option for players who want to experience more content and those who love to create. MOAR CONTENT!

Speaking of content, I also like the Freeport revamp. Some of the questlines are really engaging. I also like the openness of the new [one] zone, no longer do you zone from each part of FP but you can still travel to different parts with city bells. It is done quite well, a nice style with the same layout. I can still find what I am looking for but it just has had a face-lift. Very well done IMO.

At level 20 Beastlords get a 'glowly' blue eyes spell effect
(the crown glowing is a cosmetic drop from SoL).
Last but not least BEASTLORDS! I absolutely love the class, coupled with my merc I find it a blast to play. The class is very bursty at my current level, 22. It gets more interesting and engaging as I level and it is quite formidable. I can see this being my new main easily.

Pets pets and more pets! I've tamed a lot of really cool pets, from a flaming bat whom I named Hotwings to a giant cow. I like how some of the options are silly while others are more along the lines of what you'd expect. I really love pet classes and the options for these are great. At level 30 you gain the ability to further make them stronger with their abilities. I suppose this means you'd want to pick one to focus on mainly at first. I'm eager to work on this soon.

The class has a lot of flexibility which it gains with levels. It is more in your face for a scout class but that is what I was expecting- Toe to toe with a warder at my side! I even have an invis/stealth ability, which is totally sweet. I really look forward to the next ten levels to see how the class changes and grows. It is a really fun class to play and a great experience.

All in all I'd say AoD was a great expansion. Adding in just more raids and five mans wouldn't have made me buy it, it was the features which drew me in. That's just me though. Plus, as stated before, content will be arriving in the form of patches.  If you're on the fence about it, I think it is really a great expansion, especially if you're wanting to jump back into the game, going F2P makes it even more so appealing for those who are not sure they have enough time to justify buying it- It will be there when you do, ready to play. EQ2 really is raising the bar for MMOs IMO. Sharing some pics I've taken along the way, enjoy!

Wolf warder in black, he's huge

Lerenth, an NPC from one of my favorite questlines.

Hotwings, my bat warder.

Darklight Wood.

Enjoying Frostfell.

My (othimir) Tradeskill Apprentice who just moved into my residence.

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